The number of diagnoses of people testing positive with the coronavirus topped 14,000 today in the U.S., Johns Hopkins COVID-19 interactive map told us this morning.

As tests have begun to come on stream from California on the west coast to New York state on the east, the U.S. COVID-19 positives will continue to ratchet up for weeks to come, based on the latest perspectives shared by the most-trusted expert in America, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

This report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, published March 13, 2020, forecasts a plan looking 18 months out.

As of today, Governors in many states — including California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania — have effectively shut down non-essential businesses, mandating that people work at-home. Schools are closing, and families are sharing WiFi networks at home for learning, working, gaming, and taking minds off of the new-normal of essentially being shut-in and isolated.

The Ad Council collaborated with media companies and U.S. Federal health agencies to create a campaign to promote physical distancing using the hashtag #AloneTogether to bolster our social connections forged through digital/virtual means. The program is broadcasting public service announcements (PSAs) across many channels and platforms to message the themes of social distancing, personal hygiene and mental health.

The program is meant to support, “the country as we navigate this uncharted territory together,” Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council, said. The many creative assets that the various media teams developed can be found at the press release link above.

Health Populi’s Hot Points:  In the U.S., most people say it’s important to be well-informed about things, and a plurality of people are trying to maintain a positive attitude in this coronavirus pandemic along with being more health-conscious and aware of global news.

The chart shows these current life-flows for people in the US and UK, from the latest report by the GlobalWebIndex study that in March 2020 focuses on travel and commuting.

Only 20% trust their government to handle the situation in both the US and the UK — where President Trump and Prime Minister Boris Johnson have been controversial leaders in their countries during the #COVID19 pandemic.

We’re trying to maintain positive attitudes, even as this week, our consumer confidence went south; here’s Morning Consult’s latest poll published today. This huge drop was “swift,” in the words of Morning Consult, due to what we’ve seen in previous recessionary times; this time, they say is particularly acute, “in light of how much worse things are likely to get from both a health and economic perspective.”

Matthew Holt convened his inaugural podcast of The Health Care Blog Gang yesterday. I joined my colleagues Deven McGraw of Ciitizen (the guress @HealthPrivacy), Ian Morrison (@SecCurve) long-time health care forecaster and industry observer, Dr. Saurabh Jha (@RogueRad) radiologist and social media physician, and Kim Bellard (@KimBellard) health care writer and editor. We brainstormed the current #COVID19 pandemic challenge, health politics, privacy and our snapshot view of the pandemic, each alone in our home workspaces and together via Zoom.

In wrapping up our conversation, Matthew asked each of us to stir up a week’s worth of future tea leaves to focus on our very short-term forecast of what we expect to talk about in seven days.

My own take focused on the consumer, patient and caregiver — all of us, really — in this #StayHome lifestyle, with State Governors’ growing calls to shut down local economies for social distancing (for good reason). A week from today we’ll be pretty antsy and angsty about not getting out and being social.

How will this impact our mental health and wellbeing, knowing we are all worried about our financial health and jobs in the immediate term, and the physical health of our loved ones and our selves.

“Where’s Waldo?” in the social distance era, asked cartoonist Adam Douglas Thompson in yesterday’s New Yorker daily cartoon.

#AloneTogether, indeed. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to collaborate with Matthew and Deven and Ian and Kim and Saurabh. My husband has been holed up in Brussels for many weeks, and today, thanks to United Airlines, he flies back to the U.S. and to me.

We are all #AloneTogether for the time being and a long time coming. Let’s make sure we emphasize the “Together” part via virtual cocktail hours, Zoom’ing with work colleagues, phoning our loved ones, and getting outside for fresh air long walks, saying hello from six feet away from our fellow travelers.

This message was posted in the elevator of our apartment building today, from a resident couple making themselves available to help those of us in our building who may have obstacles accessing food or medicine or finding a positive mood in the moment.

How Together is that?

Stay strong, resilient, and healthy, my friends.

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